Wikipedia defines drifting as: a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa, also known as opposite lock or counter-steering).
While drifting may not be a part of earning your drivers license, driving on wet, icy, and snow covered roads is nothing to new to those who live in frigid winter climates. Driving in these conditions can certainly foster some great car control. Accordingly, it’s no great surprise that Finland has fostered more world championship drivers in motorsports then any other country on the planet.
The driver of this C6 Z06 executes a very long, high speed drift with pretty exacting precision, clearly not a beginner to the world of drifting and odds are that he is familiar with this turn as well. As the video begins and the Vette comes into view, clearing the trees, you can see that the car is already well settled into the drift.
Clearly there is a lot of snow on the ground, and seemingly some slush on the road, but the tire smoke would indicate that the road surface is dry enough for the rubber to reach the asphalt. As drifting is as much or more about throttle modulation as it is about steering, having enough rear wheel traction to control the car is pivotal.
While this video makes the drift look painless, it takes an alarming level of car control to execute a turn like this. While we hope the driver finished the turn successfully, the video leaves something to be desired in the last few seconds. It is a bit hard to tell due to the poor quality of the video, but it looks as though the car begins to increase its radius exiting the corner and hits a slushy spot on the road. There is a sharp correction as the Vette continues barreling down the road as the curtain falls.
Somebody with the type of car control exhibited here definitely wouldn’t be a stranger to pulling out of a bad situation, but the road conditions don’t do them any favors, and even the best drivers make mistakes once in a while. We’ll assume it was just a correctable glitch while exiting the corner, but should things have turned sour we hope that our Latvian friend was not injured in the crash.
Drifting can be very fun once perfected. That being said, Corvette Online certainly doesn’t condone it on public streets for the safety of others and yourselves, so please be responsible.